Torture, love, betrayal, alcohol, and more torture. These are just some elements that feature in the narrative of Tomás Ford’s spy thriller A View to a Beer.
In this dark tale, our host embodies the character of a VB drinking Aussie bloke and international assassin. He’s skilful, experienced, and determined to find his elusive target. Despite all of this, things don’t tend to go his way.
Combining film noir with cabaret and his signature style of DIY lighting, Ford creates a setting that’s immersive and thrilling. While he tells us his story, he also serenades us with original music.
As the bass pumps through the room and the story escalates, Ford dances and gets in amongst the audience.
There aren’t many performers who can create a dramatic, intense and havoc-ridden environment in which the audience is almost luminous with joy. In Ford’s case, it’s not only possible, it’s a specialty.
We’re at his mercy as he paces through the crowd and yet it seems we couldn’t be more delighted with his erratic behaviour. He sings to us, screams at us, interrogates some and sits on the laps of others.
There isn’t one person in the room who isn’t either smiling, laughing, cringing in joyous disbelief, or taking the truly courageous step of echoing Ford’s shouts.
Interwoven with pop-culture references, local knowledge jokes, social commentary, and allegorical songs, this is a show that is inherently amusing. It may be melodramatic and dark, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s one of the things that makes it so enjoyable.
Tomás Ford is an artist who seems to thrive on chaos. If he breaks a chair, he hurls it across the stage to be sure it’s completely dead. If his microphone fails, he raises his voice to a shriek while frantically seeking out a replacement.
If anything at all goes wrong, he’s likely to up the intensity of the show. It’s so much fun to watch that you’ll go to his next performance hoping for something to go awry.